Next-gen actuation

Paul Boughton

Asset management is at the core of intelligent valve actuation

In today’s power generation industry the emphasis on the benefits of preventative maintenance has never been greater and, in fluids handling environments, large numbers of valves and their critical function of controlling the flow have made them a focus of attention. The condition of the valves is a good indication of the condition of the overall plant, so a lot of benefit can be gained if the valve actuator can regularly update the plant manager about the state of the valve that it is operating.

The introduction of the new Rotork IQT electric valve actuator brings the advanced functionality and asset management capabilities of the company’s third-generation intelligent technology to the direct-drive operation of part-turn valves. The new functionality brought to the compact and robust part-turn actuator includes an impressive range of advanced data logging and communication capabilities that have been increased in response to the end users’ desire to access more data, both in the field and in the control room.

Capturing the torque demand curve from a newly installed and calibrated valve actuator assembly provides a reference point against which future curves can be measured. As the valve ages, the force required to open and close it can change because of internal and external factors. For example, a damaged seal on a ball valve can be reflected by a fluctuating torque demand across the valve stroke. The identification of issues such as these can be used to plan maintenance without interrupting the plant and improve overall plant productivity.

Logging tool

The powerful IQ datalogger therefore provides comprehensive data capture of historical operating data for preventative maintenance, troubleshooting and asset management. Data includes valve torque profiles, operational start profiles, vibration and temperature trend logs and an event log. Service or maintenance alarms are selectable from configurable menus including open and close torque levels, total starts and vibration levels. Valve maintenance requirements can be identified and anticipated, eliminating unplanned interruptions to the process or over-cautious planned maintenance outages.

Diagnostic information available from the IQ datalogger can be extracted from the actuator and downloaded on any PC running Rotork’s Insight2 diagnostic software. Using the secure Bluetooth hand-held Setting Tool Pro, the data from up to 10 actuators can be transferred to a PC. The datalogger information can also be transferred via the Rotork Pakscan two-wire or wireless digital control network.

Rotork is a corporate member of the Institute of Asset Management, a professional body for those involved in the acquisition, operation and care of physical assets, especially critical infrastructure.

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